There was a time when my squat wasn’t so great (not that they are now).
It was February 2009, and just 3 months after my last bodybuilding competition.
I just got done having the ACL and meniscus in my right knee reconstructed after shredding it in a freak football accident (what a birthday present). I couldn’t do any heavy lower body work on that side for months. The Dr. told me to start rehab immediately and to lay off the weights for a while. I listened.
3x per week I went to rehab working with bands, doing work on the bike, and slowly breaking up scar tissue and getting my rage of motion back.
To keep my sanity, hobbled to what was Mid City Gym on 49th and 8th in NYC to train my upper body and my good leg after work while doing some light leg presses. I was making great progress and hoping to get back under the bar soon. Nope.
About 4 weeks after my surgery, I left the office to get some Aleve at the pharmacy at the Duane Reade on the corner. My knee was killing me (as a post production technician for feature film an television, there was alot of ladder climbing, crawling, kneeling, etc.), but I decided to leave the cane at my desk – cause after all, I could still walk.
After hobbling a few feet up the block, I slipped on some ice, my knee buckled, and I fractured my kneecap in the exact spot where they took the patella tendon to replace my ACL. FUCKING OUCH.
The pain shot through my entire body, and I screamed as if someone stabbed me. Hunched over in pain I tried to fight back tears.
Back to another 2 months with the brace, but this time the doctor locked in on me. He said if I started to get too mobile and the fracture got worse, he’d have to cut me open again to repair it. So needless to say I walked around the next 2 months like a pirate.
The road to get the bar back on my back was longer.
I kept going to the gym and doing what I could. Building my good leg with leg extensions and leg curls and working the leg press machine.
Once I got clearance to start back on exercising my right side again, I started working it but took it slow. Fast forward about 3 years and by the time I opened the gym again I was back up to 2-3 plates on each side – BUT I started to have a problem with getting low enough.
Squat depth is a recurring issue I see many guys have at one time or another. It could be due to a bunch of factors. Ego, injury, tight muscles/hips, etc.
Now that my knee was fixed, I needed to fix my squat. Here’s how I fixed it with a bath towel.
Step 1: Roll it up and step on it
Step 2: Grab the towel in between the knees
Step 3: Pull yourself down ‘into’ the towel and get as low as you can. Hold it for a 5 count, come back up, and repeat, trying to get slightly lower on the next round. Try 3-4 rounds.
(You should feel a stretch in your hips, hamstrings, etc)
Using this towel trick and progressively pushing weight and volume approaches on my squats, recently hit 500 lbs at just over 180 lbs. body weight. It works.
Try it if you have trouble getting low enough.
This towel stretch has helped me that I still do it today and I use it as one of the tools (in addition to stripping some weight off the bar…egos lol) to improve squat depth in my athletes.
A few takeaways from this post.
 To get big and strong SQUAT with intensity. (<== Free Squat Program!)
 If you have a setback or failure, figure a way to get through it, lower your shoulder and step on the gas.
 Make sure you check your ego at the door and get low enough on your squats using the towel trick above.
Share this post or comment up below and let me know how this squat hack worked for you, or let me know what I can do t ohelp you gain muscle, get strong, or get ripped.
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